The field of orthodontics enjoys the distinction of being the first dental specialty to be professionally acknowledged by the American Dental Association (ADA). The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) is a member organization that functions to promote the continued advancement of the field of orthodontics.
When the founding members of the American Association of Orthodontists created the association in 1900, they recognized that orthodontists who avail themselves of collaborative support can better serve the needs of their patients. They also knew that the formation of a professional organization would promote the burgeoning field in a way that emphasized ethical standards and the enhancement of public health.
Membership in the Organization
Practicing orthodontists undertake a great deal of academic preparation prior to assuming the title. In addition to undergraduate work, aspiring orthodontists complete a four year doctorate in dental medicine and a two year specialization program in orthodontics. At each phase of their education, they sit for licensing exams. To attain membership in the American Association of Orthodontists, a qualified orthodontist is required to prove that he has completed a full accredited program and is eligible to practice.
Applicants must also agree to abide by the organization’s bylaws. These regulations require an American Association of Orthodontists member to remain in good standing with the American Dental Association and sign an oath promising to uphold the ethical standards of the American Association of Orthodontists. Student memberships are available to individuals who provide an official letter verifying student status and a projected graduation date.
Patients who receive dental care from an orthodontist who is a member of the association can be assured that their orthodontist is prepared and pledged to provide the highest standard of orthodontic care. Because the American Association of Orthodontists provides professional support to its members, patients can also feel confident that their orthodontist brings not only his own expertise but also a long tradition of professional excellence to the dental chair. When looking for an orthodontic care provider, it would be wise to research those in your vicinity that are members of the American Association of Orthodontists.
Member and Industry Benefits
The American Association of Orthodontists has provided its members with greater opportunity for professional advancement and unparalleled patient care for over a century. Industry professionals and patients alike can expect the American Association of Orthodontists to remain true to these principles for centuries to come.